December 31, 2010

* New Years Eve, 2010

2010 was powerful for me.  It seemed bigger and broader.  It had a 40 ft. wing span which is huge compared to other years, it was strong, and quick, and took me for quite a ride.  Tomorrow it is completo, acabado, sobre, finito.  These times will never return.  They will, however, leave there effects upon me.  This year has taught me who I am and what I am made of.

I've been contemplating and reflecting on what I want to attain this coming year.  One of the sites I follow e-mailed me these twenty-two questions.  They are poignant.  I thought I would like to share.  I want to be very clear about 2011.  These will help me to do that.

22 Questions: A Moving On Ritual by Shiloh Sophia  

 1. What is it I am committed to starting? 
 2. What is it I am committed to finishing? 
 3. Who is it I am excited about being? 
 4. Who is it in me I am excited about letting go? 
 5. Where is it I will spend my time? 
 6. Where is it I will spend less of my time? 
 7. Who will I reach out to and connect with? 
 8. Who will I surrender and let go? 
 9. What is it I feel really good about? 
 10. What is it I need to forgive myself for? 
 11. What abundance am I going to bring forth? 
 12. What excess am I going to release? 
 13. How will I shine my light in the world? 
 14. How will I stop hiding my light? 
 15. How will I strengthen my relationship with Spirit? 
 16. What excuses will I no longer use? 
 17. What is it my soul longs to express? 
 18. What is no longer serving my soul? 
 19. How will I care for my body? 
 20. How will I no longer treat myself?  
 21. What was the theme for my 2010? 
 22. What will the theme be for my 2011? 

Interesting, don't you think?  Because I'm still not fit to be in public, I will spend part of my day today writing in my journal about this.  I know it will bring clarity.  Perhaps you would like to try it.  Have fun with it, if you do.

I made another card for the Vintage Swap today.  I got out my bed tray and worked mostly from bed.  Two down, one to go.  Then I can get them in the mail.  I'm terrified they won't make it to their destination by the deadline of February 26th.  I know, that sounds bizarre, however, remember "this is Mexico".

I believe in the imagination.  What I cannot see is infinitely more important than what I can see.  ~Duane Michals, Real Dreams

Let yourself be silently drawn 
By the stronger pull of what
You truly love

December 30, 2010

* Sick, Sick, Sick .....

Good Morning world and everyone who is reading my blog.  Did I ever tell you how much I appreciate YOU being here?  Did I ever tell you how supported I feel in this endeavour when you leave a comment?  You are so appreciated.  Every time you check into Flying Solo, you are appreciated.  It keeps me going.  It inspires me.  Thank you.

I can't tell you when I've felt this sick.  Unless of course, it was the last two times I've had bronchitis this year ... ha ha.  Not really ... not even then.  This time is worse.  I was on antibiotics for five days, and am still coughing and hacking.  Deeming perhaps there is something amiss, I called Dr. Sylvia yesterday and she made a house call.  It would seem the antibiotics didn't do much for me, except perhaps take my fever away after four days.  I'm on another round.  Different antibiotics this time.  I coughed ALL NIGHT.  Honestly .. I had an incredibly terrible night.  Habibi will attest to that.

Dr. Sylvia said I should feel some improvement by tonight.  I do hope she is correct.

Despite everything, there were times this week when I was bored to bits.  I surfed the web and came up with a "Vintage Card Swap".  Every person makes three cards with a 'vintage theme', send them in, and I receive three hand made cards in return.  So I emailed and was registered.  I think there are thirty-eight people.  An interesting mix, mostly from the US, but also from the Scotland, The Netherlands, Australia, Germany, and England.  This will be fun.  I got all enthused.  Each day, after my fever abated, I tried to create a little.  It felt good.  I have the first card complete.  Want to see it?

It's not like I have many supplies on hand.  I certainly can't go to a craft shop here and purchase blank envelopes and cards.  I had to get inventive.  The card is made from water colour paper and the envelope made from a brown piece of paper something arrived here in.  Anyway, I had loads of fun creating it.  Perhaps the second one today.

Sometimes I think creativity is magic; it's not a matter of finding and idea, but allowing the idea to find you. ~ Maya Lin

December 28, 2010

* An Organized Studio

In anticipation of organizing my studio, I have created a few collages.  They will decorate the front of my file folders.  I do love pretty files.  A fun project which doesn't take much time and brings a smile to my face when I'm organizing my collage images and ephemera.  Thought you might like to see them.  Here goes.

I haven't made up the file folder yet, however I will photocopy a number of these, cut around the outside with patterned scissors and use a spray adhesive to attach.  They make wonderful hand made gifts for anyone who loves to organize and wants their file cabinet to be pretty and at least somewhat amusing.
To jumpstart the bringing of order into your home, here are four old-fashioned rules that
can change the quality of your daily life beginning today.

1. If you take it out, put it back.
2. If you open it, close it.
3. If you throw it down, pick it up.
4. If you take it off, hang it up.”     From Simple Abundance, by Sarah Ban Breathnach

December 27, 2010

Medieval Christmas at the Tower of London

La mi Navidad enferma en Mexico (my sick Christmas in Mexico) seems to have taken me back to England and in particular London Town.  Around the table at Park Road, our 'manor house' in which we celebrated life, Christmas was a simple but festive occasion.  We drew names and took great pains in wrapping the gifts as I recall.  We spent our Christmas morning taking turns opening our gifts from each other and usually a little something from home, ooooing and awwing, laughing and enjoying each others company.  Dinner was a feast around a simple table in the lounge as our kitchen was not big enough to handle the occupants of Park Road and any guests we may have invited.  Those memories are precious.  I lived with Australian woman who have all stayed in my life for the past forty two years.  An amazing group which was definitely destined to spend time together and bond.

Viewing this video of Christmas at The Tower of London made me realize how much I enjoy Historical Reinactment Entertainment and conjured up memories of another wonderful evening at Hatfield House just outside of London.  Elizabeth I, in her youth, was held at Hatfield, virtually under house arrest, while her future was planned and plotted.  Wandering in the gardens that evening, a glass of cognac in hand, history seeped into my pours and ran through my veins.  Later in the great hall, we cavorted with Elizabeth and her court, enjoyed a banquet of Elizabethan delights, drank mead, delighted in dancing with members of the court and being entertained by jesters, fire eaters and strolling minstrels.   At one point the Queen came before my Papa, commanding "On your feet, M'Lord. Dance with your Queen".  I remember at the time we booked, thinking this was probably a very 'touristie' event to attend, however totally changed my mind when the most professional troup of actors and actresses whisked us back in time five hundred years without us even knowing we had been transported. I don't remember what prompted the invitation, however we were invited to journey back to London on the bus with the troup. Enjoying the relaxed merriment, camaraderie and singing was remarkable. One of those nights in my life I shall cherish.

Historical reinactment entertainment was not as common at that time, and with my imagination it was a most magical night.  I was indeed 'there', an integral part of Elizabeths' court, being twirled around the great hall by handsome courtiers, five hundred years earlier.  A little like a time machine.  Returning from the quiet of a country house, into the bright lights and buzz of London,  I had to shake it off and return to the present.

The twelve days of Christmas would have been a most welcome break for the workers on the land, which long ago would have been the majority of the people. All work, except for looking after the animals, would stop.

The Christmas season used to last much longer (until 2 February), but people wanted the peasants to get back to work earlier, and so the festive season was shortened so that it ended on Twelfth Night. The first Monday following Epiphany (Twelfth Day) was called Plough Monday, because it was the time the farm workers were expected to return to the fields.

December 25, 2010

* Merry Christmas 2010

It's been a long night.  I've been conscious for most of it. Coughing made sure of that.  Habibi lay beside me trembling, refusing to be comforted, as fireworks continued until dawns early light.  I mused about what I could share with you for Christmas Day.  What tidings of great joy I could bring to you which might lift you in some small humble way.

I've spent the night listening to the medieval music of Europe.  I reviewed Christmas celebrations at the Tower of London and a enjoyed great couple of hours in the kitchens of Hampton Court Palace cooking up a Tudor meal as it would have been presented in Henry's court.  Living in London during the late 60's, Hampton Court was of great fascination to me and is one of my favorite palaces. Five hundred years ago, the kitchens of Henry's home consisted of 55 rooms.  I can't imagine how many people he employed.  The roasting kitchens alone used two tons of wood a day to cook meat for meals which fed 1200 people.  Incredible when you think about it, isn't it.  My favorite room in the palace is the Great Hall.  The hammer beam ceiling is magnificent.  In my dreams, I sometimes fly.  Mostly up in the hammer beam ceilings of the Great Hall at Hampton Court.  Oh that could I figure that dream out.  Interesting.  I have always been fascinated by, but never ventured into the maze at Hampton Court which Henry built for Elizabeth.  I was afraid I'd never come out. 

I reviewed the music of the Beatles and John Lennon.  Pondered on where John and George would have been this Christmas had they been allowed to stay.  I spent some time at the Hermitage (The once Russian Royal Family's winter palace).  I thought about their horrendous adventure upon this earth.  I went back to some of the castles in Ireland and roamed in the Scottish Highlands.  I visited Lizzie and Charlie and wondered what it is REALLY like to live that kind of life.  Did you know the Queen decorates her Christmas Tree with diamond studded crowns?  I am a Royalist.  Always have been ever since I could collect photographs and paste them in a scrapbook.  It's my belief they are good for the country.

It's morning now in San Miguel.  The sun is peaking his head over my courtyard walls.  Everything is quiet except for the crowing of roosters which I adore.  The fireworks have ceased.  Habibi is calm.  I'm drinking a cup of tea and reading a page from Julia Cameron's book "Prayers to the Great Creator".  I thought I would like to share it with you.  Finally, this morning, I think I have found that little spark of inspiration which in some small way, may impact your day. 

"Life is sacred.  Life is art.  Life is sacred art."  ~ Gabrielle Roth


When I count and encounter my blessings, I experience a sense of fullness, safety, and satisfaction.  I have enough.  My heart is bountiful.  My life is dowried by rich companions and rewarding experiences.  As I experience the power and goodness of the universe, I experience my own power and goodness.  I experience that I am enough -- more than enough.  I experience flow, increased flow and expanded flow.  Opening to receive this flow, I become larger and more magnificent.  I am part of a grand and glorious design.  A grand and glorious design is part of me.  I celebrate the granduer of this fact with a humble heart.  

And so it is.  And so it shall be.

December 24, 2010

* Feliz Navidad eh?

It's Christmas Eve.  My first Christmas in Mexico.  I'm excited.  Things to do, places to go.  Why then is it that by 10:00 AM yesterday morning I was feeling bad ... really BAD.  By this morning I knew a Dr. was in order.  Dr. Gorgeous was out of town ... he makes house calls.  I called Dr. Sylvia and told her I could come in.  I can hardly drag myself out of bed .... but I do.  Ruben comes and picks me up.  I've got bronchitis.  That's the short story.  I'M SICK!  IT'S CHRISTMAS.  No party for me.  Hopefully, next year.  This year I am nestled in my bed, Habibi by my side, coughing and hacking .... don't worry I won't go into the details.

So ... from our house to your house ... from our hearts to your heart .... Happy Happy Christmas.  I have a feeling I won't be posting tomorrow.  You never know.

Crumbs, I thought I was going to have to take a few photographs to get one of me looking bad, but hey- first try!  YIKES.
"I reckon being ill as one of the great pleasures of life, provided one is not too ill and is not obliged to work till one is better."  ~Samuel Butler
I'm not sure I agree with this quote.  Perhaps tomorrow when I'm feeling slightly better.  
Hope Santa has been good to you.

December 21, 2010

* Total eclipse of the Moon. Winter Solstice 2010

I was up half the night.  Couldn't drag myself away from the magic.  The air was crisp and cool, the sky clear as the tinkling of bells.  Something very special took place.  The magnitude of it all overwhelms me and make me feel small and very special to be here on earth at this time.  I snatched a photo from HERE.  It was the best representation I could find of what I witnessed during the night.  I shall never forget it.  A total eclipse of the moon which coincided with the Winter Solstice has not occurred for about three thousand years.  We are so lucky to have had the opportunity.   How many of you were witness to this amazing event?

Red Moon they call it.  The beautiful orange glow as La Luna is completely immersed in the earth's shadow.  This is exactly what it looked like to me.

                        That's the thing about magic.  You've got to know it's here.  You've got to know it's all around you or it disappears.

December 17, 2010

* Dinner at Casa Serena

Another wonderful evening at Miss Sylvia's Casa Serena.  As you already know, Sylvia loves to cook and is very very good at it.  She also loves to entertain.  Does both with such great ease and grace.  Tonights meal was an Italian one.  Stuffed mushroom caps for starters.  Next an incredible warm Tuscan salad, then hearty beef barley soup with red wine, served with heavy bread and herb butter.  The dessert -- decadent!  Something with about three different kinds of cream in it, butter and a little gelatin.  Drizzle with chocolate and enjoy.  All in all, serve with wine, great company, and you have a wonderful evening full of great memories.

Sylvia also has a 'project' going at the house.  She is covering part of the third floor terrace.  It's going to be fabulous.  Right now, she's in the same boat I am ... 'under construction'

Soon to be wonderful covered terrace.  Get ready for a Terrace Warming!     

Dinner was most enjoyable, the company very charming and entertaining.  One gentleman from Montreal, Quebec, one from Louisiana, the other from Ohio.  All enjoying San Miguel for some months of the year while doing a little globe trotting in between.  A few months ago found all three of them in Paris at the same time which resulted in a memorable dinner party.  I love this town.  So many interesting people to meet and make friends with.

Getting ready for dinner
Most charming company

Three men and a lady.  Not a bad average!

"Find us men who are interesting enough to have dinner with and we will be happy"  ~ Lauren Bacall

Tonight we did just that.  It was a lovely evening.

* Moonbeam Manor

Moonbeam Manor is progressing.  I seem to be on track to meet their needs and requirements, however I'm still getting comments. 

Blue Moonbeam:  "Could you turn me a little to the right, please?  I'm a little uncomfortable."

Red Moonbeam (the really bossy one).  "You're not going to leave the facade of our building like this are you?  We need more jewels.  More bling.  More palacie stuff.  It's not looking regal enough.  We'd like it to look a little over the top.  You can manage that, can't you?"

"Now, you two realize I do not have everything at my fingertips like I used to have.  I'll have to go hunting and see what I can find.  You will have to exercise some patience.  You do understand what that means, don't you?"

"Yes, we understand.  It means we are going to have to wait, wait, wait.  We're not very good at that."

And on and on it goes.  I'll have to go hunting for more BLING!

Moonbeam Manor

If I were asked to name the chief benefit of the house, I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.
Gaston Bachelard

December 16, 2010

* They are SOOOooo Bossy!

"We don't like our new house."  I kept hearing it over and over.  The voices got louder.  Surely I was dreaming ... but wait ... my eyes were open.  I tuned in again.  Sure enough, "We don't like our new house."  I could no longer deny it.  I was hearing voices again.  It was 'them'.  It was the Moonbeam Babies!

"Why on earth could you not wait until morning to discuss this?", I whined.  "It's dark.  It's the middle of the night."

"We know", came the answer in unison.  "We think more clearly at night.  That's the way we are made."

"Ok, so let's discuss it.  What's wrong with the house I bought you?"

"It's too big."

"What?!  I searched and searched to find you a big house so you could stretch out and be comfortable."

"We understand that, and we are grateful.  We operate differently though.  We are moonbeams after all.  Moonbeams stick together.  It take trillions of moonbeams to make the moon so beautiful.  We are always stuck together, touching shoulders.  If we're not together, we're not happy.  We know you want us to be happy."

"How did you manage to get here anyway?  Aren't you supposed to be up there helping the other trillions of moonbeams."

"Well, it's a long story.  We will make it short so you can understand.  We will communicate in earth speak.  That's not easy for us either you know!  Anyway, it was full moon.  La Luna was at her best, in her greatest glory.  It sends us all a little crazy when she gets that beautiful.  Much the same effect the full moon has on earth inhabitants.  We were fooling around .... slipped on a stray ray, and plummeted off into the atmosphere.  Coming through the stratosphere like that nearly did us in.  That's why we were all black and cracked!  Not an easy time of it we can tell you.

"We hung on to each other for dear life.  That's what we do anyway, as we were saying.  We stick together.  Fell into someones back yard.  Nice lady, but very strange.  Scooped us up and listed us on something called ebay.  Described us as 'old primitives'!  Ha!  Little did she know.

"The rest is history.  We called you.  You don't think we popped up on your screen by accident do you?  So that's the story.  Now, back to business.  We don't like our new house!  We want to live in a palace.  We came from a palace and we will not settle for anything less."

"A Palace?  What are you talking about."

"The Universe, Lady D.  It's a palace out there.  It's glorious.  Everything is made of light and gold and silver.  Everything shines.  That was our job.  To shine our lights so you would notice how beautiful the Universe really is.  Much like the Universe wants you to shine your light.  We know you understand that part."

"We want to live in a palace. Oh, and we want some red in it.  We adore red."

And so it was I had to go house hunting once more.  Something a little smaller this time, so they could touch shoulders.  I did find the perfect one.  I helped them into it to see if they like it.  They do.  Renovations began today ... on a palatial scale!

"Moonbeam Manor"  (in the making)

"Beholding the moon rise
  Over the pallid sea and the silvery mist of the meadows:
    Silently one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven,
      Blossom'd the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels."

December 15, 2010

* The Roof is Finito!

The terrace roof outside the studio was finished in one day.  The materials arrived yesterday and were stacked neatly in the driveway.

My dream has always been a hand made tile roof.  I wanted one before I knew what they were.  When I first saw one, my heart skipped a beat.  Then I began to travel.  I ooooooed and aaawwed all over the Mediterranean.  When we built our home in Canada, I priced tile roofs .... out of the question there.  Well guess what ..... I HAVE A HAND MADE TILE ROOF.  I'm in love.
My contractor cut the ends of the beams in the old Spanish style.  I adore it.
By noon it was half finished.
Chayo is proud of his work and his workers.
And I have a lovely new terrace roof which shall be enjoyed very much.  I truly feel blessed that I am able to create this house for myself.  

Let the beauty we love be what we do.

Patty!  It's all your fault.  When I read your post called "rewind", I could not resist going back to December 15th of last year and seeing what I had written.  It was a surprise.  If you are interested, take a peek HERE.

December 13, 2010

* Bought a new house!

I did go house hunting today.  And I did find exactly what I was looking for, so I bought it.  Yes .. .just like that!  So .... now the Moon Babies have a home.  It's going to take some work.  I will probably wait until the studio is finito to attempt to make them comfortable.  It will be a fun project.  Have no idea what I'm going to do to remodel.  It will take a little thinking.

Think I might have found something I like in the house already.  We will see.

Are you able to see it's the face of La Luna made out of glass.  I bought it to put in a bowl of glass balls, but I think it has found a new home.  Funny how that works isn't it.

"There is a magic in that little world, home; it is a mystic circle that surrounds comforts and virtues never known beyond it's hallowed limits."  ~  Robert Southey

December 12, 2010

* The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

At 5:30 am this morning, the fireworks began all over San Miguel.  It's a big day here.  One of the most important celebrations on the Mexican calendar.  Some of the fireworks are coming from the other side of my courtyard walls, and Habibi is not amused.  He is sitting on my lap shaking.  It is the last important festival before Christmas fiestas begin officially on December 16th.

I have witnessed pilgrimages.  The heart felt devotion and willingness to suffer never ceases to amaze me.  At the Basilica in Mexico City I have witnessed pilgrims 'walk' on their knees with hands clasped to pray in front of Our Lady's Shroud.  I cannot imagine the pain which is no doubt involved.

I wanted to share a little of the history with you.

Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Guadalupe
December 12th is the celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe. It is a religious festival and It is National Holy Holiday, held every year to honor The Virgin of Guadalupe, patron saint of Mexico. She is also identified with the Aztec earth goddess and mother of human kind, Tonantzin. The feast, in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, goes back 500 years to the sixteenth century.
Legend states that Juan Diego, a native Nahuatl, saw a beautiful, brown-skinned woman with a shining halo of rays. She was dressed in shades of rose, gold and blue.

She spoke to Juan Diego as the Virgin Mary. She told him to go the city and visit the Bishop and request a shrine be built in her honor. The shrine was to be built on the sacred temple site of Tonantzin (a pre-hispanic goddess) on Tepeyac Hill.
Virgin of Guadalupe and San Juan Diego
Our Lady of Guadalupe and Juan Diego

Guadalupe appeared three times to Juan Diego and asked for her temple. Juan Diego was turned down three times by the Bishop. He wanted proof that the beautiful lady was truly the Mother of God. Guadalupe told Juan Diego to climb the Tepeyac hill and gather roses, which did not grow in the winter. He gathered the flowers and brought them to her. She placed them in his apron and told him to deliver them to the Bishop. As he dropped to his knees in front of the bishop and opened his apron, imprinted on it was the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, exactly as Juan Diego had described her. In 13 days, a chapel was built for Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Mary's (Guadalupe) appearance to Juan Diego was a powerful reminder that Mary and the God who sent her accept all peoples. Given the history of the cruel treatment of the Indians by the Spaniards, the vision was a admonishment to the Spaniards. It was an occasion of great importance to the indigenous people of Mexico. Today millions show their respect to her by making pilgrimages, on December 12th to the Basilica of Guadalupe, in La Villa de Guadalupe, in Northern Mexico City. The old Cathedral is built next to the new one.
The Old Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico City
The Old Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico City
There are smaller celebrations in churches throughout Mexico. In the City of Mexico, La Villa de Guadalupe is a festival that draws enormous crowds. Dances from a wide variety of indigenous cultures are performed. Ephemera and religious art are plentiful.

An interesting aside:

Why is she standing on what looks like a crescent moon?

There are actually several objects in the picture related to the crescent moon. You will notice that Mary is seen as an Aztec princess, and that she is with child (the vestments indicate her rank; the tassels on her wrists are the traditional Aztec indicator of her pregnancy). The casual modern observer would think that the bright golden rays that surround her are a kind of halo, indicating her holiness. In this case, they have an entirely different significance. They are actually the glow of the sun-god behind her (like the real sun’s corona in a full eclipse). Mary is eclipsing this Aztec deity; its day is over. The burnt-out moon-god is beneath her feet, showing that Mary has vanquished it, too. At the bottom is what seems to be an angel — but it is not. The wings belong to another Aztec god, Quetzelcoatl (ket-zel-KO-at-l), the winged serpent from whose plumage the colors of the modern Mexican flag are taken. Eclipsing it is a Spaniard in European clothes, who is supporting Mary. It was through a prophecy involving the Quetzelcoatl that Moctezuma, the emperor of the Aztecs, came to believe that his empire would be overthrown by another God coming from across the sea.

There are dozens of other details in the picture, each with its significance for the Indians of the time. The collar, the stars on her turquoise-colored cloak (which are astronomically correct and indicate a critical moment in time), the flowers on her profusely embroidered golden dress (including an especially ornate one directly over her womb) all carry a deep meaning. And in the 1950s it was discovered through scientific study that there are actually reflections in her eyes (optically correct), apparently showing the scene in the bishop’s mansion at the moment when St. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (kwow-tla-TOE-at-zin, “Speaking Eagle”) opened his tilma (cloak) to reveal the roses he had brought from the hill of Tepeyac. These are tentatively identified as a number of known personages, plus several who are unknown.

Finally, there is the inescapable resemblance of this picture to the description of the Woman clothed with the sun in Revelation 12. Something to ponder.

December 11, 2010

* Babies Homeless

I found these two babies on e-bay.  They called to me, even though they were tattered and torn.  What could I do ... I brought them to Mexico.  I have no idea of the history of this kind of doll.  I have never seen one before.  They were in rough shape, emotionally neglected and in need of tending.  Here's the 'before' photograph.  Unfortunately, I didn't take a photo of both in their original condition ... before my imagination got carried away.  If anyone has seen these kinds of dolls before, I'd be very interested in hearing about them.

For whatever reason, they sort of reminded me of moon beams ... perhaps their shape.  They began calling for 'this and that'.  We want gold faces.  I want a crown!  We both want roses.  On and On ... what could I do.  This was the result.

They refuse to be separated.  What's more, they are demanding their own housing.  "We don't want to hang around on some wall getting dusty.  We have a right to decent shelter!"  Cheeky are they not.  So now I'm out looking to buy a house!  I think a very large Nicho would be perfect.  Don't know if they make them that large.  I'll keep you posted.  For now, I'm house hunting for the Moonbeam Babies.

"The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves."
Carl Jung

December 10, 2010

* Posts and Fireplace

The fireplace in the Studio was going to remain plain.  Change of heart set in.  I had them tile it.  I had the tiles, so it was no big deal for them to pop them on the wall.  Happy I did it.  I do love it and think it will look great when the mantle is installed.

The trim will be painted cobalt.
On another note, when the Studio is complete, I will be putting a half roof on the terrace so there will be shade.  It faces West, so shelter is needed from the hot afternoon sun in the summer.  Months ago I found some hand carved posts which I fell in love with, however had no use for.  Now I do .... so I scurried back to see if they were still there.  YEAH!  There they sat, just waiting for me.  I only need two, however got such I good price I took all four.  The two I don't use, I will stash until I can afford to put a roof on the back terrace.

I realize you in Canada and some parts of the States will laugh uproariously at this statement.  I am cold!  At the moment (7:45 AM) it is 41 degrees F.  My fireplace isn't working properly and I'm heating the house with my oven door open.  (Yes, I know, that's funny too.)  The high today will be 73 degrees.  A nice temperature, however, it won't begin to warm up until late morning.  When the sun sets about 6:00 pm, it instantly cools off.  High desert stuff.  It gets dark very early now.  I'm looking forward to solstice and the coming again of the light.  I love the longer evenings.  So there you have it ... my take on December weather in San Miguel.  My Canadian blood must be getting thin.

"There is no use trying,” said Alice. “One can’t believe impossible things.” “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” — Lewis Carroll

December 8, 2010

* Street Photos

Rummaging through my 'stuff' today to find objects de arte, I came across a small envelope of photographs.  Honestly, I don't know what I was thinking when I packed to move.  I find the strangest things.  The particular photos here today are all Street Photos, mostly from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  One of them is from Spokane, Washington during our summer pilgrimage to the US to visit relatives an shop.  I find them all interesting.  Street Photos always catch you off guard.

Papa walking with purpose.
Summer day.
Spring or Fall day?  Mama is wearing a heavier coat.
Blood freezing winter day.  Snow flying.  Mama would have knit her hat and scarf.
Mama and a dear friend Emmy Dean.  Summer again.
I distinctly remember this photograph.  We were on holiday in the states.  I  was ten years old.  That means it was 1956.  I was complaining to Mama.  "Mama, I really dislike these shoes.  Is there something we could do about that?"  Mama, of course saw the street camera and is trying to tell me to smile.  I love this photo of Papa.  He looks so relaxed.

 Mama and Me.  I was in college then.  Still can't figure out why I would have been hauling all those books down the street in the middle of Edmonton!  Who knows.  I had sewn the outfit I was wearing.  Reversible cape.  Turquoise wool on one side, black and white tweed on the other. 

"We all have our time machines. Some take us back, they're called memories. Some take us forward, they're called dreams."  ~Jeremy Irons

December 7, 2010

* You Are a Prophet

Your imagination is the single most important asset you possess.

Your imagination is your power to create mental pictures of things that don't exist yet and that you want to bring into being.

Your imagination is what you use to shape your future.

And so in your own way, you are a prophet. You generate countless predictions every day. Your imagination is the source, tirelessly churning out mental pictures of what you'll be doing in the future.

The featured prophecy of the moment may be as simple as a psychic impression of yourself devouring a fudge brownie at lunch or as monumental as a daydream of some year building your dream home on a mountainside in Hawaii.

Your imagination is a treasure when it spins out scenarios that are aligned with your deepest desires. Indeed, it is an indispensable tool in creating the life you want; it's what you use to form images of the conditions you'd like to inhabit and the objects you hope to wield. Nothing manifests on the material plane unless it first exists as a mental picture.

But for most of us, the imagination is as much a curse as a blessing. We're often just as likely to use it to conjure up premonitions that are at odds with our conscious values -- that's the result of having absorbed toxic programming from the media and from our parents at an early age and from other influential people in our past.

Fearful fantasies regularly pop up into our awareness, many disguising themselves as rational thoughts and genuine intuitions. Thos fearful fantasies may hijack our psychic energy, directing it to exhaust itself in dead-end meditations.

Every time we entertain a vision of being rejected or hurt or frustrated, every time we rouse and dwell on a memory of a painful experience, we're basically blasting ourselves with a hex.

Meanwhile, ill-suited longings are also lurking in our unconscious mind, impelling us to want things that aren't good for us and that we don't really need. Anytime we surrender to the allure of these false and trivial and counterproductive desires, our imagination is practicing a form of black magic.

This is the unsavory aspect of the imagination that the Zen Buddhists deride as the "monkey mind." The monkey mind is the part of our mental apparatus that's filled with pictures that endlessly zip around with the energy of an agitated monkey. If we can stop locating our sense of self in the endless surge of the monkey mind's slapdash fantasies, only then might we be able to be here now and want what we actually have.

But whether our imagination is in service to our noble desires or in the thrall of compulsive fears and inappropriate yearnings, there is one constant: The prophecies of our imagination can be pretty accurate. Many of our visions of the future do come to pass. The situations we expect to occur and the experiences we rehearse and dwell on are at least sometimes reflected back to us as events that confirm our expectations.

Does that mean that our mental projections create the future? Let's consider that possibility. What if it's at least partially true that what we expect will happen does tend to materialize?

Well, here's the logical conclusion: It's downright stupid and self-destructive to keep infecting our imaginations with pictures of loss and failure, doom and gloom, fear and loathing. The far more sensible approach is to expect blessings and joy and peace and fulfillment and understanding and meaningfulness.

And that's the reason why I'm so reverent in composing my messages for you. If I'm to be one of the influences you invite into the intimate sanctuary where you nurse your self-fulfilling prophecies, I really want to be gentle with you. It's why I avoid invoking worry and doubt, and instead nudge you in the direction of passion, integrity, happiness, and generosity.

And that's exactly the approach I'd like you to take. I want you to pay ultimate respect to yourself. Understand your power as a potent prophet of your own life. Flush away the images running around your imagination that are not in harmony with your life goals. Create images that encourage you to be your best. Cultivate feelings and ideas and imaginations that are in alignment with your highest ideals and deepest desires.


To buy PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia, the book from which the above piece is excerpted, go to Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

December 5, 2010

* Christmas is coming ...

Christmas at the market.  Need I say more?

"Until one feels the spirit of Christmas, there is no Christmas.  All else is outward display - so much tinsel and decorations.  For it isn't the holly, it isn't the snow.  It isn't the tree not the firelight's glow.  It's the warmth that comes to the heart."

December 3, 2010

* Marquita and Luminitsa

Strolling down the ancha a couple of days ago, a chill ran up my spine.  You know, the kind.  You don't really know what's going on - but get ready - something is!  I kept walking.  Fully aware of my surroundings, present in the moment.  I was hearing voices.   At first I tried to ignore it.  Obviously, I was hearing things.  But no ... there it was again ... my name.  Ever so softly, but totally audible.  "Donnita."  I slowed to a crawl.  My hearing became acute as I did nothing but listen. "Don n i t a ..."

Now, no one has called me Donnita since the days when we traveled to Mexico city on a regular basis.  We had a driver named Antonio whom I shall never forget. To him, I was always Donnita.  He took such good care of us.  We were invited to his daughter's wedding one year, and felt totally part of the family.  Hearing my 'Mexican name' brought back such lovely memories.

I stopped.  I 'tuned in'.  The voices ... yes, two different voices, were coming from the direction of the shop I was standing directly in front of.  I ventured in.  My eyes took a moment to adjust to the dim light from the bright sun of the street.  It was a nice shop.  My first glance around indicated there was everything Mexico had to offer.  I was amazed as I began to travel toward the sound of the voices.  This building had obviously been an old colonial home.  I passed through room after room, deeper and deeper away from the street, through the courtyard and into yet another part of the building.  The voices became louder and clearer.  They were gentle but firm voices.  Determination was imprinted in the sound waves.  I followed.  Past the pottery, ceramics, hand painted folk art, hand punched tin mirrors, cantera carvings, a room full of lanterns and chandeliers until I was finally 'there'.  There in front of a hand woven basket.  The sound of my name was definitely drifting gently out of the depths of the basket.

I peered in.  Simple rag dolls of all shapes and sizes tumbled over the sides.  What on earth .... I was intrigued and mystified.  I didn't question the magic.  Things like this seem to happen to me on a regular basis.  I moved a few dolls.  Primitively crafted with a tremendous amount of character.  Then I came to the voices.  There they were!  I picked them both up, looking them square in the eyes.

"Well, Senora Donnita, it's about time.  We've been waiting!", one of them piped up.

"Yesterday, we were nearly taken.", the other cried.  "Where have you been?  "Do you realize we would have been separated, and gone to the entirely wrong person?"

"I'm here now, you are safe."  I turned, walking back toward the dim light at the front of the building.  "You can explain when we get home."

"My name is Marquita.  It's a very Mexican name you know.  It means pearl.  Are you listening to me, Donnita?"

"Yes, of course I am.  Perhaps you two should button your lips until I get your paperwork in order to get you out of here."

"But, you should know my name too!  They just would not be quiet.  I was getting nervous.  "It's Luminitsa.   I'm pure gypsy."

"OK, OK, that's enough for now you two.  Settle down."

I set them on the counter and dug my purse out of my Lady of Guadalupe shopping bag.  Senor at the counter was looking at me oddly.   Like he had perhaps overheard, but didn't want to admit it.  I smiled.  He wrapped each one in brightly coloured tissue paper.  I placed them gently in my bolsa and walked into the bright Mexican sun.  I'm sure their story will unfold. 

Marquita and Luminitsa
"Friends are angels sent down to earth to make good days and help us find our way."

December 1, 2010

* Happiness is ... RYAN PARKER

At some deep level, when I witnessed these photographs, I simply had to blog about Ryan.  His essence spoke loud and clear, straight from the page.  It hit me in the heart.  It's a shining example of following your bliss, because as you can see, that's exactly what he's doing.  It's emanating from every pore.  His exuberance and sheer love for what he's doing drips down onto the stage and pools and puddles in the audience.  People walk in it, it 'get's on them' ... he shares part of his soul.  As a result the happiness is passed on.  Such a gift.

Ryan is my great nephew.  I witness his journey with much love from afar, as I do with many members of my family.  When he was a teenager, he came for a weekend visit with his Mom, and sister.  It was a memorable weekend, one I shall always carry with me.  Special.  We had our tea leaves read.  Ryan's forecast included the statement "And your name shall be written."  It has proven to be very true.

Making his home base in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Ryan is able to express his talent in many ways.  He's an actor, a musician, a photographer, a producer and a writer.  He has just returned from the West End in London, and Broadway, traveling with "Nevermore", the musical about Edgar Allan Poe.  He's one of the founders, writers and principle actors in the comedy sketch TV series, "Caution:  May Contain Nuts", a couple of musical groups, one of which, The Be Arthurs,  is a threesome with ukulele's (very popular by the way).  He's young, he's full of life, he's making his living at a very early age doing what he loves.  These life choices come with risks.  There are no guarantees when you choose your bliss, in this case the entertainment business, things are going to work out.  Ryan took those risks.  At some level he knew it would work.  I admire him greatly.  Taking that giant leap into the unknown without any kind of safety net has yielded Ryan a great gift in life ... Happiness.  He's sharing it with the world.  How great is that!  Be friends with Ryan on FACEBOOK.  I adore his web site HERE.

Ryan Parker - Happiness IS.

Can't you just feel it?  I can.

“When you follow your bliss... doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors; and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else.”  ~ Joseph Campbell


November 30, 2010

* I'm in a little bit of a panic ...

This was the title of an e-mail I received from Sylvia the night before last.  When I opened it, the message was short and sweet.  "I've lost my wallet!"

I must say that is enough to put anyone in a 'little bit of a panic' anywhere in the world today.  We talked on the phone.  It seemed reasonable there were only two possibilities.  Either she had dropped it or set it down when we were at the garage sale (a private showing by the way).  Or it had fallen out of her bag in the taxi.  Ruben was called.  No, nothing in the taxi.  Carol (the lady whose home we had been at) was not home.  Red alerts were sent out.  "Call me when you get home, no matter what time it is."

The phone rang at Sylvia's house.  It was Carol.  Pitch black in the yard, she and a friend searched with flashlights and came up empty handed.  Sylvia, wise woman that she is, decided to 'let it go'.  After all, stewing about a lost wallet can make a body sick.  And so, we hung up the phone, and with nothing else to be done, went to bed.

Early the next morning, I received another e-mail entitled:  "CAROL FOUND MY WALLET!".  Happy days are here again.  Such a relief.  Celebrations were at hand.  Sylvia took us both out to breakfast at the Sierra Nevada - such a treat.  It was one happy morning!  Breakfast and good company were enjoyed by all.  Carol turned out to be such a lovely interesting woman.  I would like to get to know her better.

I've come to the conclusion it's a good thing to celebrate life at any opportunity.  Finding Sylvia's wallet was a great excuse.  Thanks Syl!

Me, Sylvia, the infamous Pink Wallet, and Carol
Across the street from the Sierra Nevada are the old public laundry facilities which are still used regularly by the local women.  San Miguel was founded in 1542, and I'm sure the laundry was not far behind.  I have passed the laundry on a day when nearly all the stone tubs were in use,  the atmosphere busy and abuzz with local gossip.  Today, one lone woman enjoyed her chores in peace under the warm Mexican sun.

Laundry day in San Miguel.  Historical Public Laundry

I enjoyed a walk through Parque Juarez.  The entrance decorated with crepe paper flowers.  Beautiful.
A good day.  Sylvia and her wallet were reunited.  We celebrated the little gifts of life.  Met a new lovely lady.  Walked in the sun.  All is right with my world.

"Think big thoughts and relish small pleasures."  ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr., Life's Little Instruction Book

November 29, 2010

* Garage Sale and Tea with a Friend

Sylvia is nuts about decorating and making a beautiful home.  So am I .... 'nuts' that is!  So we have a lovely common bond.  We talk about colours, paint, furniture, art, gardening, cooking, entertaining, building on, changing, what will look good where, what our latest 'hunts' are all about.  We keep our eyes open for each other when we are out and about.  We share ideas and dreams.

Yesterday, Sylvia spied a post on one of the local lists and sent me a red alert email (good stuff for sale).  Would I like to accompany her and come for tea after.  So this morning, off we went.  Sylvia was looking for a little hutch of some sort ... something 'just right' to fit in a certain spot.  I was looking for folk art, off the wall art, something different to decorate my studio walls.

The 'china cabinet' which was advertised turned out to be something more of a storage piece.  A lovely piece though, made by quiet a well known artist.  Beautiful tin punched doors.  Since it wasn't what Sylvia was needing, I considered it for a storage piece in By The Light.  I considered it for about two seconds and made an offer.  My offer was accepted.  I'll post photographs of furniture on another post.

We also found some lovely little pieces to decorate our walls.  A plate and mask for Sylvia.  Gorgeous beaded pieces for me.  We came away happy as little clams.

Not sure what this is!  Perhaps part of a ceremonial costume, it definitely acts as a loin cloth and ties around the waist like an apron.  Who knows for sure.  It's solid beading, all hand done.  I love it.  It will look great on the walls of By The Light.

An exquisite little purse, all hand beaded.  Also for the wall.  Perhaps it's the beginning of a beaded collection!

I couldn't resist this.  A vintage tin cup and saucer.  Obviously a childs toy, it will become part of a piece of art one day.  I'm putting it with my every growing 'stash'.  ha ha
No explanation needed here.  It will hang somewhere in the Studio.
So off we trotted with our treasures.  Back to Sylvia's where I was greeted by a beautifully laid formal tea table and a wonderful traditional afternoon tea.  We dined on Sylvia's made from scratch pumpkin roll  together with small pieces of chocolate and beautiful camomile tea prepared from the real dried flower. I do adore the ritual of 'afternoon tea'.  We talked of happy things.  I felt very special.

"Come, my friend, let's have some tea and continue to talk of happy things."  ~ Chaim Potok

PS:  A special hello to Al and Doris.  It was so lovely speaking with you yesterday.  Take care of each other.  Sending L O V E!